Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: Arizona
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Arizona Project

Determine Genetic Variability Within Wild and Captive Populations of Sonoran Pronghorn

January 2009 - December 2017


Participating Agencies

  • Arizona Game & Fish Dept.

Goal: The Sonoran pronghorn population experienced a population crash down to 21 individuals in 2002 and the captive population is partially maintaining the genetic health of the species. Today the population is estimated at 68 individuals, however, there are still some important genetic questions that need to be addresses for the pronghorn subpopulation residing within the US. We plan to: determine paternity (and maternity) for key offspring from the captive Sonoran pronghorn population; estimate levels of inbreeding, genetic variability, and relatedness within the captive population; compare genetic variability among all remaining free-ranging populations of Sonoran pronghorn; test the feasibility of using pronghorn scat samples to characterize genetic variability for populations in Mexico; develop pedigree and determine degree of relatedness for all members of the Sonoran pronghorn captive population; and determine the relatedness of Sonoran pronghorn to nearby pronghorn populations (subspecies) (Antilocapra americana mexicana, Antilocapra americana peninsularis, and Antilocapra americana americana).